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Permanent exhibition

Tea Time – The First Globalisation

In the 1700s the world was more globalised than it had ever been before. The entire globe was linked by a trading network dominated by Europe.

The first wave of globalisation

The small empire of Denmark-Norway was also part of this international trade, with colonies in India, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic and Africa. During the 1700s trade flourished and fortunes were made. In the exhibition, a painting of a tea party in northern Europe gathers the strands of the story.  The tea, like the porcelain, came from China, and the sugar on the table was the product of an extensive trade network, with silver from America being traded for cotton in India, which was exchanged for slaves in Africa, who produced the sugar in the West Indies that ended up on the tea table.

Compete against each other in the trading game

Focussing on the goods that were shipped and their consumption, the exhibition tells the story of the first wave of globalisation. You can move along the route of the goods traded and play the role of a merchant trying to make a profit in his trading company en route. Using a logbook you can trade the goods of the 1700s, and compare your success with that of other visitors. Beautiful exhibits from the 1700s tell the story of voyages, adventures and the fortunes made in a world that was simultaneously far away and close to home.


-Inscription on a gold coin from the Danish West-Indian Guinea Company, 1708

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